If your copy of Salon does not display clearly, send an email to the editor and an alternative version will be sent.
19 October: Ballot, at which David Breeze, FSA, will mark the publication of the fourteenth edition of the Handbook to the Roman Wall by exhibiting books by John Collingwood Bruce and talking about Collingwood Bruces contribution to the study of Hadrians Wall.
26 October: Imagined Interiors: the domestic interiors database, by Flora Dennis
2 November: The Chester Amphitheatre Project, by Tony Wilmott, FSA, and Dan Garner
3 November: Annual Meeting of the American Fellowship at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Building in Stone at the Boundaries of the Latin Church, 950─1250, by Eric Fernie, President
Those who are not Fellows are welcome to attend ordinary meetings (excluding ballots) as a guest of a Fellow. If you would like to attend a meeting but do not know any Fellows, please contact the Society for help (tel: 020 7479 7080).
Geoff Wainwright, the Societys Treasurer, wishes to draw Fellows attention to the immense value to the Society of the Gift Aid scheme which allows the Society to claim back the income tax that Fellows have paid on their annual subscription. Sixty-one Fellows have so far responded to the appeals in Salon and Fellowship News to submit a gift-aid form backdated for the past few years, and this has enabled the Society to claim £9,516.41 from Revenue and Customs. Those many Fellows who have not yet responded are strongly requested to do so: the returns to the Society are huge for the effort of filling in a simple form. Further details from Giselle Pullen.
Apologies for the gremlins in the last issue of Salon, which led to the truncation of the missing Fellows list. The Societys Accounts Assistant, Giselle Pullen, would be grateful for any news of the current whereabouts of the following Fellows who have not responded to recent communications from the Society: Joseph Veach Noble (last known address Maplewood, New Jersey, USA), Christine Michal Mahany (Stamford, Lincs) and Michel Nassiet (Nantes, France).
Salon 149 quoted at length a paper by our Fellow Dr Euan W MacKie on the possible links between the bronze and gold sky disc found near Nebra and the sixteen month solar calendar which Alexander Thom suggested might have been in use in the Early Bronze Age. Our Fellow Brendan O'Connor has responded by pointing to another recently published paper on the disc, identifying it as a tool for reconciling the solar and lunar calendars: a helpful summary in English can be read on the Deutsche-Welle website.
Salon 149 got in a right muddle over the Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology, just published by Cambridge University Press. Salon described one of the editors ─ Dan Hicks ─ as a Fellow, when he has yet to be elected to the Fellowship, and omitted to mention that the book is co-edited by Professor Mary Beaudry, of Boston , who is already a Fellow. Coincidentally, Professor Beaudry has another new book due out shortly from Yale University Press ─ this time on the material culture of needlework and embroidery, and their significance in Colonial and early independent America ─ see Books by Fellows for further details.
Another slip of the Salon keyboard recently turned our Fellow Malcolm Wiener into Weiner, thereby transforming his ancestors from inhabitants of Vienna into keepers of a vineyard ─ for which, apologies. Colleagues of Dr Wiener tell me that he was recently inaugurated at an official ceremony as a Chevalier de lOrdre National des Arts et des Lettres de France, to add to his existing distinguished memberships of the Austrian Academy, the German Archaeological Institute, the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.
Sometimes ones mistakes lead to the discovery of some hitherto unknown fact, as was the case in relation to Salon 149s statement that the new Neanderthal finds from Caours represent the only known find from this time in northern Europe. This encouraged our Fellow John Nandris to write and say that surely Levels 3 and 6 of the Cotte de Saint Brelade on Jersey date to the last interglacial, and that finds include mammoth, woolly rhino and elephant bones and delicate Mousterian tools. He adds that, like Gorhams cave on Gibraltar, Cotte de Saint Brelade enjoys a vantage point on a rock outcrop from where Neanderthalers would have had panoramic views of their animal prey over what were then coastal plains. On a personal note he remembers Charles McBurney, who dug at Saint Brelade, as meticulous and indefatigable. I excavated with him at Cresswell Crags. At the bottom of a square shaft we struck what appeared to be solid rock. He considered it briefly and said keep going. We cut through the rock, all nice and square with picks and chisels, and sure enough the stratigraphy continued beneath a huge boulder.
Salon has learned that the Director of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Andrea Smith, FSA, is leaving the Society soon to take up a post as a senior project manager with Headland Archaeology Ltd. The Society will shortly be advertising for a replacement for Andrea, and the advert will be published in Salon once it is available. In the meantime any enquiries about this post should be addressed to the Societys President, Roger Mercer, FSA, c/o the Societys offices (contact details are available on the Societys website).
Coincidentally, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland has just published an important new monograph by Chris Lowe, one of Andreas new colleagues at Headland Archaeology, entitled Excavations at Hoddam, Dumfriesshire: an Early Ecclesiastical Site in South-West Scotland (240pp, hardback; £35 + p&p direct from the Society).
Salon is very grateful to our Fellow Paul Barnwell for the following obituary that he wrote for our late Fellow Dr Ian Goodall ─ this obituary is the full and original version of the obituary that appeared in truncated form in The Times on 2 October 2006.
Dr Ian Goodall, FSA, archaeologist and architectural historian, died on August 16, 2006, at the age of fifty-eight. With his unexpected and early death, the academic world lost a pioneering expert on the iron artefacts of the Middle Ages, a notable scholar of the English country house, and a man whose humanity inspired the affection of many of those with whom he came into contact.
Ian Howard Goodall was born in York on 23 January 1948. While at Nunthorpe Grammar School he developed an interest in eighteenth-century buildings and culture which was to remain with him for the rest of his life. During his years in the sixth form he displayed an enthusiasm for learning and a degree of motivation which brought out the best in his teachers as much as in his fellow pupils, and he completed a project on the history of furniture, a copy of which was sought as recently as last year.
In 1966 he went to University College Cardiff to study archaeology, and he remained there to undertake doctoral research on ironwork in medieval Britain. The latter formed a pioneering study of material which had received little previous attention, and he was immediately recognised as the leading authority in the field. Throughout the rest of his life there was a steady flow of commissions to write reports on ferrous objects found on excavations throughout Britain, several scores of which were published. They included major contributions to Professor Martin Biddles 1990 publication on the finds from medieval Winchester and a long-standing commitment to the excavations at the settlement of Wharram Percy on the Yorkshire Wolds. In 1982 he was elected to the Fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries in recognition of his work in this area.
Before the completion of his doctorate, Goodall had returned to York, in 1972, to join the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England as an archaeological investigator. He transferred to the architectural division of the Commission three years later, and was to remain there, through the 1999 amalgamation of the Commission and English Heritage, for the rest of his life. His move into architectural history occurred towards the end of the Royal Commissions programme of research on the buildings of York, to the final inventory volume of which he contributed a notable section on the development of staircases. After his official career caused his attention to move further afield his interest in his native city continued to be expressed through membership of the Council of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society, for which he was, from 1976 to 1980, one of the founding editors of York Historian.
The completion of work on the city of York coincided with the Royal Commissions abandonment of inventories in favour of thematic volumes, and Goodall became part of a team working on the houses of the North York Moors, to which he contributed considerable insights concerning the evolution of longhouses. During the subsequent two decades, he was engaged in two further major thematic surveys, both as the leader of a team of researchers. The first, conducted with Colum Giles, was a study of West Yorkshire textile mills, much threatened by the 1980s collapse of their industry. For the Royal Commission to concern itself with industrial monuments of this kind was, at the time, both an innovation and controversial, but the results have proved of lasting significance, not least because of the interest Goodall showed in the development of the buildings themselves and his desire to base conclusions on examination of as many sites as possible. The second thematic survey was national in scope, concerning the development of hospitals, and was conducted to inform decisions relating to the future of Victorian and early twentieth-century buildings as they became increasingly inappropriate for modern health care.
These projects not only broadened his academic interests, but saw him develop administrative and managerial abilities which were further enhanced by his serving as head of the Royal Commissions York office during the early 1990s, and then, from 1995 to 2002, as head of the northern emergency recording team. After that he chose to relinquish formal managerial responsibilities in order to concentrate on research, returning to the North York Moors for combined architectural and archaeological investigation, and developing his interest in country houses, particularly those of the Lake District, publishing notable papers on Sizergh Castle and Storrs Hall. At the time of his death he was engaged in major collaborative projects on Lake District villas and on the remains of the Cumbrian gunpowder industry.
To all his work, scholarly and administrative, Goodall brought immense energy and an acute eye for detail. Combined with a somewhat rigid manner and deep commitment to his work, these qualities could at first daunt colleagues, but closer acquaintance revealed a man of great courtesy and consideration for others, particularly young and new colleagues whom he helped beyond the call of duty. This conjunction of precision and humane outlook was reflected in an interest in Baroque and early Classical music, particularly oratorio and early opera, and caused him to be held in great affection.
In 1975 he married Alison Evans whom he had met at Cardiff. As an expert in her own right on non-ferrous metal artefacts, she was to become a fellow-worker on many archaeological reports. Both she and their son survive him.
The Society has been informed that Sophia Wyndham Bates Harbin Rawlins, FSA, elected a Fellow in 1950, died in August. As well as being known for her research into sixteenth-century heraldry and the arms of City of London companies, Mrs Rawlins lived at and cared for Newton Surmaville, a house located south of Yeovil, Somerset, that had been built between 1602 and 1612 (though extensively altered in the 1870s) by her ancestor, Robert Harbin, a Yeovil-born mercer. Surrounding the house are the Grade-II listed pleasure gardens that Mrs Rawlins tended, laid out with ponds, summerhouse, walled kitchen garden and borders leading down to the banks of the River Yeo.
A service to celebrate the life of Dr Levi Fox, OBE, FSA, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust from 1945 to 1989, who died on 3 September 2006 aged 92, will be held on Wednesday 1 November 2006, at 11.30am, at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Following the service a drinks reception will be held at the Parish Centre.
If you have any queries regarding this event please contact Julia Howells, PA to the Director, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Our Fellow Anthony Harding, President of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), writes to say that at the Twelfth Annual Meeting, held in Cracow, Poland, on 19 to 24 September 2006, our Fellow John Coles was awarded the EAA Heritage Prize, in recognition of his many contributions to the study, preservation and presentation of European wetlands, his pioneering work in experimental archaeology, and his study of Bronze Age rock art.
The prize citation dwelt on all these matters, and concluded as follows: John Coles is that unusual figure, an academic archaeologist who through his fieldwork has changed the way we look at the world. He leads by example; he does not expect others to do his work for him; he keeps up with a huge range of literature; and he acts as friend, mentor and adviser to many. He has crammed into his working life a vast amount of archaeology in a whole series of different fields. The areas of heritage protection highlighted here have benefited enormously from his energy, his experience and his wise counsel. It was for these reasons that the Heritage Prize Committee of the EAA came to the unanimous decision to award the 2006 EAA Heritage Prize to John Coles.
To the questions why was Stonehenge built and how was it used there will never be a single correct answer. As our Fellow Tim Darvill makes clear in his newly published Stonehenge: the biography of a landscape, Stonehenge is a powerful catalyst for myth making, with multiple meanings that have evolved many times over several millennia.
But that doesnt stop us speculating, and one of the more attractive theories is that Stonehenge is the home of the ancestors. Put simply, this says that Stonehenge represents the place where the ancestors first put down roots in the region. Over time, the descendants of those original settlers colonise more land and become dispersed, but they return at regular intervals to celebrate their kinship and to bring with them the bones or cremated remains of relatives who have died since the last family gathering. Along with feasting and who knows what festivities, the recently deceased are ceremonially reunited with their ancestral kin (until which point they are perhaps not regarded as fully dead or at ease, and after which point their physical remains cease to be important).
Our Fellow Mike Parker Pearson (Sheffield) is among those who have theorised along these lines and the joint universities Stonehenge Riverside Project ─ which he directs with Joshua Pollard (Bristol), Colin Richards (Manchester), Julian Thomas (Manchester), Chris Tilley (UCL) and Kate Welham (Bournemouth) ─ has gone a long way towards finding archaeological evidence to support such an interpretation. At Durrington Walls, for example, the project has uncovered the deep middens full of barbecue debris, such as pig bones, and a 20-metre-wide midsummer sunset-aligned avenue flanked by a gully and external bank which is being interpreted as a possible funerary and processional avenue route leading down to the banks of the Avon, where the river serves as a link to the 3km-long Stonehenge Avenue, which is aligned on the midsummer sunrise as it reaches Stonehenge.
As our Fellow Francis Pryor has said in print and on TV, this neat theory that henges (and related structures, such as causewayed enclosures) memorialise ancestral homes would be given an enormous boost if we could actually find some homes at the centre of the some of the henges. Now that wish appears to have been granted, according to the latest issue of British Archaeology, edited by our Fellow Mike Pitts, who reports that the Stonehenge Riverside Project has uncovered no less than nine well-preserved houses this summer, including two remarkable houses that not only lie within the Durrington Walls henge, but are also themselves surrounded by ditches, banks and palisades.
British Archaeology reports that the houses have trapezoidal chalk plaster floors up to 6 metres square, with central hearths. The nearest parallels are in Orkney and grooves in the plaster floors are being interpreted as footings for wooden furniture similar to the stone furnishings of houses at Skara Brae. Another link between the Skara Brae houses and Durrington Walls is the common occurrence of Grooved Ware pottery.
Of the two houses set within their own henges, Julian Thomas says they might have been former homes venerated and elaborated, or that they might have been shrines from the start. He also thinks these structures are older than the larger Durrington Walls earthwork, though further excavation and a large-scale dating programme will be needed to clarify the relationship.
Not long after these Neolithic houses of the mid-third millennium BC were constructed, elaborated and venerated, the existing timber circle at Stonehenge was replaced by two concentric crescents of stone, of which forty-three came from Carn Meini, in the Preseli Hills, 250km away in modern-day Pembrokeshire. At the Societys meeting on 5 October, our Treasurer Geoff Wainwright pointed out that Herbert Thomas (Petrographer to His Majestys Geological Survey) had established as long ago as 1923 that Carn Meini was the source of these rhyolitic bluestones. Geoff also dismissed the theory that the stones could have reached Stonehenge as glacial erratics, because no glacial system has ever been recorded in the British Isles that travelled in an easterly direction. The issue of whether they came from Carn Meini is behind us, he said, and the question of how they came to Stonehenge is rather a blue collar issue: the really interesting and challenging question is why they were chosen and transported such a long way?.
What followed was an entertaining and illuminating account of the fieldwork that Geoff and our Fellow Tim Darvill have undertaken at the quarry site at Carn Meini, in which they revealed the sheer number of hitherto unknown monuments that they had found and recorded over several seasons. Starting with an almost blank archaeological map, they now have one that is crowded with quarry debris, flaking floors, hammer stones and tools, with cairns, causewayed enclosures, chambered long barrows, stone circles, dolmens, single standing stones and rock art.
The patterning of stone pairs in a ring around the Carn Meini summit is especially striking: Tim described the stone pairs and associated rock art as forming an envelope of gateways, places of transition around the summit, which itself has been enclosed by drystone walls linking the fingers of shattered dolorite that form such a dramatic skyline to the peak, resembling natural stone portals to some kind of peak sanctuary.
Geoff and Tim produced a series of astonishing parallels between Carn Meini and Stonehenge: the orientation, layout, scale and shape of Carn Meini is very similar to that of third-millennium BC Stonehenge; even more remarkably, the arrangement of stones at Stonehenge ─ with doleritic stones in the centre surrounded by rhyolites, tuffs and ashy slates ─ exactly mirrors the geology of the Carn Meini summit.
Returning to the question of why Carn Meini, Tim threw out a number of theories, asking his audience to vote according to whether they favoured the idea that Carn Meini was a place of energy and magical power, the abode of the gods (the Mount Olympus of the Neolithic); whether the stones themselves were simulacra, idols revered as symbols of people or deities; whether they had acoustic properties (the literal meaning of Carn Meini is ringing rock), or whether the stone itself, with its green tinge and white feldspar inclusions, symbolised some myth, such as the raindrops of the great storm that created the world, or the crystallised tears of the gods.
Perhaps, Tim concluded, there is something in Geoffrey of Monmouths attribution of healing powers to the stones. Carn Meini is surrounded by springs and rivulets, many of which feature in oral tradition for their healing properties. These springs have been enlarged and elaborated, by digging back into the hillside to the spring source and building walls to create pools. There is a strong association between these elaborated springs and rock art and cairns. Was there perhaps an association between the healing properties of the water and the local stone? Was the stone brought to Stonehenge because of its miraculous properties, and was the Amesbury Archer on a pilgrimage in search of relief from the constant pain he would have suffered as a result of an accident that had torn his left knee cap off? Was Stonehenge, in fact, a prehistoric Lourdes?
The leading article in the November / December 2006 issue of British Archaeology is a reflection by our Fellow Trevor Rowley on the changes that have taken place in the English landscape since the Second World War. At a time when there are more and more calls for planning laws to be weakened or even abolished (see for example the report of the Householder Development Consents Review Steering Group, published in July 2006, which recommends allowing householders to be liberated from planning laws that restrict how they extend their homes), Professor Rowley stands up for the maligned planner: portrayed on the one hand as despoilers of Englands green and pleasant land and on the other as Stalinist bureaucrats tying everyone up with red tape, Professor Rowley says that far from being the root of all evil, planners have succeeded in preventing the free-for-all development that blights large parts of North America, and that recognising the role of national and local government planners is central to an understanding of the twentieth-century landscape.
Analysing what we now have, he cites J B Priestleys division of the landscape ─ in an English Journey (1934) ─ into the Old England of churches, pubs, manors and village greens, the Industrial England, that produced not just mills and back-to-back houses, but also shops, hotels, chapels and Mechanics Institutes, piers and railways, and finally Todays England, consisting of the works of the present age. Rowley regrets that the balance between the three has shifted in favour of the present because we have the capacity to transform the landscape now on such a huge scale ─ new landscape doesnt borrow from the old, he says, it swamps it ─ and because it is so drearily uniform, no longer rooted in Englands geological kaleidoscope and owing no debt to regional design traditions.
Ultimately, he writes, it is futile to condemn the twentieth-century landscape out of hand, and he predicts that much more will be swept away before the end of the twenty-first century, though his own article, with its evocation of the immense threat to the historic landscape posed by future development, is a powerful rallying call to those who believe that such destruction can be avoided.
On 11 October 2006, Natural England, the new government agency created to champion the natural environment, was formally launched. The Sheffield-based agency, employing 2,500 staff, has a budget of £500 million, some £300m of which will be used for conservation grants to farmers to encourage them to operate in a more environmentally friendly way.
Natural England's chief executive Dr Helen Phillips said the new agency will campaign on four main themes: climate change, health, sustainable land management and the marine environment. Natural England has been created at a time of growing concern over the use of the world's natural resources and over climate change, she said. We have been charged with the responsibility to ensure that England's unique natural environment including its land, flora and fauna, freshwater and marine environments, geology and soils are protected and improved. Our aim is to conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.
Friends of the Earth responded by claiming that Natural Englands aim of halting and reversing landscape degradation was being frustrated by government cuts. At the same time the campaigning body highlighted the loss of 200,000 miles of hedges from the British landscape ─ enough to encircle the globe eight times ─ over the past sixty years, as revealed by recently published figures. Britains hedges are the nations richest wildlife habitat and some are thought to date from the Bronze Age. They reached their peak in 1870, only to be devastated after the Second World War as farmers created larger fields for modern farm machinery. Over the past decade their total length has remained the same but, says Friends of the Earth, this disguises the fact that old, wildlife-rich hedgerows are being destroyed, while less valuable ones are being planted. Ministers are now reviewing the regulations to see if they need to be tightened up to prevent this practice.
All is not lost because, as Trevor Rowley points out, planning laws do continue to protect the best of our natural and historic landscapes, provided that national and local politicians take any notice and actually understand what their statutory duties are. To give them a good nudge in the right direction, the Scottish Parliament has just published an excellent guide to the processes used to assess landscape character, and to determine the impact of development proposals on the landscape. The guidance is chiefly concerned with natural landscapes, and especially those designated as National Scenic Areas, but it also embraces cultural aspects of the landscape, and it provides an interesting insight into the concepts used by landscape planners, with worked examples. Landscape Assessment is available on the internet.
Planning law as it affects the historic environment in England is about to undergo what our Fellow Peter Beecham describes as a once in a generation shift, when the Heritage Protection White Paper is published later this month. We will then have to learn to use the new language of significance, which lies at the heart of the proposed protection regime, and which aims to permit change that does not endanger the qualities that are significant in the heritage asset and that explain what is worthy of protection and why.
Such principles are already enshrined in the latest English Heritage guide to good practice which concerns the conversion of traditional farm buildings. The guide contains detailed sections on how to deal with key design issues such as day-lighting, subdivision of space, retention of features, treatment of the setting and the incorporation of services and insulation. Its purpose, according to Stephen Trow, Head of Rural and Environmental Policy at English Heritage, is to help individuals and local authorities make better, more informed, decisions about the future use of the farm building stock and promote high standards in design and implementation.
In the case of farm buildings, their significance often lies in the fact that they look like farm buildings, and retain evidence of their function, whereas conversion to domestic use often makes them look like something else entirely. To avoid such loss of significance, the guidance recommends retaining the open character of farm buildings and minimising the sub-division of interior spaces, retaining existing openings in their original form and minimising the formation of new ones, retaining and repairing existing joinery, keeping the long unbroken roof profile that characterises many farm buildings, avoiding rooflights and using traditional paint colours for exterior joinery.
Copies of the Conversion of Traditional Farm Buildings: a guide to good practice can be downloaded from the Historic Environment Local Management website website.
Very late in the day, Salons editor has discovered that the Department for Communities and Local Government in England is consulting stakeholders on proposed amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI No. 418/1995), including that vital piece of conservation legislation, the Article 4 (2) Direction.
An Article 4 (2) Direction requires a property owner to obtain planning permission for minor alterations to their property that are normally regarded as permitted developments not requiring permission. They are a powerful tool for enabling local authorities to prevent damaging changes, especially in conservation areas, such as the demolition of boundary walls and the conversion of front gardens to parking space, or the replacement of timber windows with PVC, aluminium or treated timber alternatives.
The proposed changes will empower local authorities to impose an Article 4 (2) Direction without having to wait for the Secretary of States approval, and it will allow local authorities to bring an Article 4 (2) Direction into force more quickly by serving the relevant notice on the land by means of a site display in situations where serving individual notices is impractical because of the number of affected owners or occupiers, or because it is difficult to identify or locate one or more of them.
These proposed changes are helpful and positive and anyone who wishes to say as much has until 24 October 2006 to make a response, using the pro forma included at Annex C of the consultation document, which can be downloaded from the Communities and Local Government website.
The second part of the same consultation proposes to that the demolition of sports buildings will in future require planning permission, along with gates, fences, walls or other means of enclosure used for a sports building. The change is being proposed because of recent cases (such as the demolition of Thames Ditton Lawn Tennis Club, and the threatened demolition of the 1878 Cricket Pavilion at the Boughton sports ground in Worcester reported in Salon 145) that have highlighted the fact that historic sports buildings are not protected under current planning law.
The extra protection given to sports buildings will give succour to our Fellow Jason Wood, who has called on the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to recognise that sport is integral to British culture and that it has a rich and diverse heritage. In an article published in the Journal of Sports Tourism, Jason points out that while there is a British Society for Sports History, sports heritage ─ focussed on surviving buildings, places and material culture ─ is not yet adequately catered for in terms of information, research, debate, educational initiatives and community involvement.
As part of the funding for the Cultural Olympiad, which DCMS is promoting as an integral part of the 2012 Olympics, Jason proposes the establishment of a British Trust for Sports Heritage. The Trust would be charged with building a national database of historic sports buildings and places, creating a web-based source of information on British sporting customs and events, giving policy guidance to local authorities on conservation and design issues relating to historic sports venues and organising a range of initiatives to embed sports heritage into the 2012 events programme.
Dame Liz Forgan, OBE, has been confirmed in her post as Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) until 1 October 2008, a further term of eighteen months from the end of her current term. As well as being the fund of last resort for buying items of outstanding importance to the national heritage, and which are at risk of being developed, damaged or destroyed, the NHMF is also responsible for the distribution of the heritage share of the proceeds from the National Lottery via the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Dame Liz has been Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund since 2001.
The HLF itself has just announced the award of development grants of over £1 million to five local authorities for the regeneration of parks in London, Newcastle, Bradford, Rotherham and West Bromwich under the new Parks for People programme, which is a joint venture between HLF and the Big Lottery Fund. Beneficiaries include Brockwell Park, home to the Brockwell Lido and the Grade II* Brockwell Hall, Clifton Park, in Rotherham, which includes the Clifton Park Museum, and Ouseburn Parks in central Newcastle.
In Australia, the Productivity Commission has completed its inquiry into The Conservation of Australias Historic Heritage Places and published its report, which can be downloaded from the Australian Government website.
As predicted, the Commission concludes that designation of a property as a Historic Heritage Place can be seen as interference on the part of Government in the property rights of private owners, for which compensation should be paid under certain circumstances, but only in the case of newly designated property. The report argues that people who acquire property that is already listed do so in full knowledge of the heritage constraints that applied to the property and that this would have been reflected in the price paid.
Where a property is not already designated, the report recommends providing owners with the right to appeal against statutory listing on the grounds of unreasonable costs ─ for example, where significant conservation costs are involved over and above those for normal repairs and maintenance, where designation compromises the owners right to enjoy and use the property, where redundant structures have to be maintained and preserved, and where the owner forfeits valuable development options that would otherwise be permitted for the property.
The Commission says that it would like to see negotiated conservation agreements used in place of legal appeals. By negotiated agreements, it means compensation packages worked out between the owner and the local authority. In reaching such agreements, it warns local governments that they must be sure that the extra benefits to the community are greater than the added costs of the intervention, but where this can be proven, the report suggests that central Government should help with the extra cost burden.
The report argues that negotiated agreements work well in British Columbia, Ontario and parts of the United States as the basis for the ongoing conservation of otherwise redundant structures (such as unused woolsheds and churches in the countryside, and industrial plant in cities). In such circumstances, the report argues, proscriptive regulation is ineffective and some significant heritage items are currently disappearing through demolition by neglect
listing in such circumstances has been adversarial and contested, and subsequent ongoing conservation has been problematic. It argues that negotiating heritage conservation agreements requires that clear-sighted decisions about heritage benefits and costs to be made up front, but it admits that the effects of their recommendations will be to increase the number of appeals against listing while owners and listing authorities test the new ground for appeal and precedents are established.
Salon has learned that Greek archaeologists are concerned about the threats to the ancient diolkos of Corinth, a unique paved way that enabled Greek warships and merchantmen to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth, the neck of land separating the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. This monument of great importance for the history of technology, and for classical Greek achievement generally, has suffered extensive damage due to decades of neglect and is progressively crumbling into the sea at its western end.
Probably built by Periander (625─585 BC), the diolkos is mentioned by Thucydides in connection with the transport of fleets during the Peloponnesian War. After Actium in 31 BC Octavian shipped his warships across the diolkos to pursue Antony and Cleopatra to Asia and Egypt. Later, the diolkos fell into disuse and now it has been superseded by the modern Corinth Canal.
Excavations conducted between 1956 and 1962 by the Greek archaeologist Nikos Verdelis revealed the course of the diolkos for about one kilometre on both sides of the Corinth Canal; it is estimated that its total length was originally 8km. The eastern end, reported by Strabo to be at Schoenus (modern Kalamaki), has not been found. Varying in width from about 3.5 to more than 5 metres, the diolkos has been called the worlds first railway because of the grooves made for the wheels of the trolleys onto which the ships were loaded, mainly at a gauge of 1.52m.
Now at the mercy of the wake of the vessels passing though the Corinth Canal, the diolkos has been heavily eroded. Parts have been washed away, parts undermined and left in danger of collapse, and parts are now below water. This deterioration is all the more serious for the fact that the monument has never been properly published (though the German researcher Walter Werner began making detailed drawings of the already seriously damaged vestiges in 1988).
Actions to save and restore the monument are urgently needed, say local archaeologists, who are calling on the Hellenic Ministry of Culture to draw up an assessment and allocate the necessary funds. Further information from our Fellow Paul Buckland at the University of Sheffield.
Salon frequently reports on the damage to the historic environment that results from warfare or natural disasters in different parts of the world, but from our Fellow Birte Brugmann comes heartening news of Cultural Heritage Without Borders (CHWB), an organisation based in Sweden that is dedicated to safeguarding and restoring cultural heritage damaged by war or disasters, using cultural heritage as a tool for reconciliation between warring communities, and building networks across ethnic, religious and national borders to preserve and protect the heritage.
Birtes own work, recently published by the CHWB, is an archaeological map of the 2,000-year-old town of Prizren, in Kosovo, the state that is now under United Nations administration and that was so recently scarred by disputes between the Serbian and Albanian populations. Hampered by the ever present possibility of unexploded devices in areas laid waste by the conflicts of 2004, Birte has nevertheless mapped all the areas of archaeological interest within the historic core of the town with the help of archaeologists from the Kosovo Museum, the Regional Archaeological Museum in Prizren, the Institute of Archaeology of Kosovo and enthusiastic local schoolchildren.
The map and inventory will now be used to protect archaeological sites from damaging development during the towns reconstruction and to strengthen the basis for the future archaeological management of the Prizren Historic Zone Fortress, as well as for various educational initiatives.
The autumn 2006 issue of the Camden Civic Society's Newsletter has just landed on Salons editorial desk, with details of a planning application submitted by the British Museum for temporary Listed Building Consent for a raised floor to be built over the interior of the historic Round Reading Room. The floor is to be constructed in connection with two important temporary exhibitions (the first, on the first Chinese Emperor, will include parts of his terracotta army) and is due to be in place from March 2007 to February 2009.
What concerns the Civic Society is the definition of temporary, given the British Museums record on Listed Building applications. The newsletter points out that the British Museums Montague Street façade is disfigured by a hoarding whose temporary permission ran out in February 2005, and that this in turn hides a series of huts which also have temporary permission that is believed to have expired ten years ago.
The newsletter goes on to detail incidences of changes it believes were made without consent (along the East Road, stainless steel trunking has been attached for electricity and other services to an intact Smirke exterior; similar trunking passes round pilasters along the east wall of the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery); equally, the Civic Society is concerned at the museums apparent failure to respond to Camdens Development Control Sub-Committee which has requested that the museum apply for retrospective Listed Building Consent to cover various unauthorised alterations to the Great Court.
Above all, the Civic Society believes that the raised floor application highlights the shortage of temporary exhibition space at the museum and the fact that the Round Reading Room has not, in its view, found a proper function yet within the museum.
The Civic Society invites anyone who wants to see or comment on the application (London Borough of Camden 2006/3731/L) to contact Victoria Fowlis of Camdens planning team on 020 7974 2659 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salons editor once studied the behaviour of visitors to the British Museum and concluded that a very large number of them seek out one trophy object (the Rosetta stone is very popular) and have their photograph taken alongside it by a friend, then leave. Now BM staff have reported far worse: sniggering schoolboys groping the breasts of Egyptian queens, and using sarcophagi as litter bins or climbing frames. According to the Daily Telegraph, such boorish behaviour has become so common that BM staff fear exhibits are at risk.
The paper quotes Jeffrey Spencer, the deputy keeper of the Egyptian collection, who replied to a letter from an outraged member of the public who witnessed seventeen inappropriate incidents on a single visit by saying: All the curators of this department would agree with you that visitor behaviour has deteriorated steadily over the last twenty years. Once it was accepted not to touch ancient objects now everyone feels it is their right to do so
When this gallery was last redesigned in 1980, public behaviour was better and many exhibits were shown free of glass, but it has been necessary to add more glass screens in front of the more vulnerable objects as time has passed.
The museum's Egyptian collection is the largest outside Cairo and the BMs most popular section ─ the primary attraction for 90 per cent of the six million people who visit each year. Some exhibits, including the Rosetta Stone, have always been protected behind glass, and many more might have to be protected in the future. Augusta McMahon, lecturer in archaeology at Cambridge University, said such a move might be necessary but was regrettable: I became an archaeologist because of fantastic museum experiences I had as a child. It will separate the people from the artefacts and probably lessen their appreciation of the works.
Still in Camden, there is better news down the road where St George's Church, Bloomsbury, has just reopened after a five-year restoration and three days of celebratory services. In a leader in The Times marking this event, the newspaper said that the rescuing of St Georges from decay and neglect was part of a new recognition of Hawksmoors individuality. His larger and still more magnificent Christ Church, Spitalfields, just east of the city of London, faced demolition in the 1950s but has also been rescued by a dedicated team. Like Hawksmoor's other buildings, in Oxford and London, his city churches have a powerful clarity and independence. Though they sit within the English baroque tradition of Wren and Vanbrugh they are more than anything a product of Hawksmoor's own mind, sometimes strange and frightening. The towering white front of Christ Church seems to challenge worshippers as much as welcome them, but Hawksmoor's almost inhuman genius and classical training produced buildings of huge intelligence. They are both varied and fascinating and their rescue from ruin is truly something to celebrate.
Outraged reaction from the worlds leading librarians and medievalists greeted last weeks announcement by the provincial government of Baden-Württemberg that it plans to sell nearly 85 per cent of the volumes in the Badische Landesbibliothek manuscript collection. Dr Alex Byrne, President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), was one of many to express dismay when he heard of the planned sale, saying: This incomparable collection includes major treasures taken from monasteries in 1803 and documents a thousand years of commerce and cultural development in Europe. It is not only a treasure for Baden-Württemberg and Germany but part of the worlds heritage. It must be protected.
The collection includes a Book of Hours belonging to Archduke Christoph I of Baden (1490), the prayer book of Susanna von Brandenburg-Ansbach-Kulmbach, medieval lectionaries from the scriptorium of the monastery at Reichenau, and the Gospel of St Peter (c 1200). The majority of the manuscripts come from the monasteries in the Black Forest, the Upper Rhine and Lake Constance and most were acquired when the monastic libraries were expropriated following secularisation in 1803.
Doubts have been expressed about the legality of the sale, which was intended to raise 70 million euros for the restoration and maintenance of Schloss Salem, the princely home of the royal family that once ruled Baden. In the face of international condemnation of the proposed sale, the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg has announced a possible alternative package, which includes asking all the museums to donate an item worth several million to the state so that it can be sold at auction, and cutting back on museum and library acquisition funds, and has warned that the sale of individual items from the manuscript collection cannot be ruled out if funds cannot be found elsewhere in the cultural domain.
The governments plans have been described as half-baked, as a ludicrous act of grace to help out with the finances of a grasping royal family, and as a philistine act on the part of one of the wealthiest states in one of the wealthiest European nations, but so far such criticism seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Ebay, the online auction site, has agreed to work with the British Museum and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) to help prevent illegal sales of treasure. Until now eBay has required proof that an object was stolen or illicitly obtained before it would agree to remove it from the site. Under the new agreement, PAS staff will monitor eBay and alert them to suspect objects: eBay will then ask the sellers to provide evidence of the objects provenance and if the answer is not satisfactory, it will remove the item from the site.
Our Fellow Roger Bland, head of the PAS, was interviewed about the new eBay deal on the BBCs You and Yours programme. He said that BM staff had monitored eBay sales during August and found that at least as much unreported treasure was being sold on the site as was being officially reported. Most of the sellers, he said, were just ignorant of the law and were happy to report finds once they knew what to do, especially as reporting the find often leads to a museum acquiring the object at its open market value.
But PAS has also found a small core of dealers who try to get round the law by insisting the objects they are selling come from old collections, or were bought overseas, or that they bought the objects years earlier and cannot remember exactly where. Reporting in The Guardian, our Fellow Maev Kennedy told the story of one such dealer who claimed to have sold a hoard of Bronze Age finds on eBay on behalf of a friend he had encountered at a parrot fair ─ a tangled tale of adultery, metal detecting and bird fancying ensued, which had a happy ending when the Dutch buyer of the hoard donated it to the local museum in Buckinghamshire near where the objects are thought to have been found.
Pleased as they are with the new agreement, the Ebay partnership is entirely voluntary, and archaeologists are now working to have the Treasure law amended so that responsibility for reporting lies equally with sellers of treasure as well as with the finder.
The 3,400-year-old hollowed-out log which is thought to be a Bronze Age canoe has been moved to a new home alongside Newport's medieval ship. The canoe was found in August near Milford Haven, in Pembrokeshire, by archaeologists working for Cotswold Archaeology who are monitoring construction work on the new natural gas pipeline that will link two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at Milford with the UKs main gas network.
National Grid archaeologist Neil Fairburn said that the find would require careful examination, conservation and preservation to establish its nature and use, which will be funded by National Grid. It was found close to a burnt mound which could have been used as an open-air cooking place or as a sauna and bath area, leading to suggestions that the boat might instead be a cooking trough or even a bath. The Cotswold Archaeology team also found evidence of a small settlement, a small amount of pottery and other items, such as polished stone rings.
The find will be housed with the remains of Newport's medieval ship, which was found buried in the banks of the River Usk as workers dug the foundations of the city's new arts centre four years ago. Mr Fairburn said the storage unit was the best place to house the relic at the moment and that it might, at some stage in the future, be put on public display.
Our Fellow Philippa Glanville, perhaps best known as an expert in historic gold and silver, has revealed another side to her research interests as curator of a new exhibition in the National Archives Museum on the history of beer and spirits (continues to 31 March 2007). The exhibition shows how public policy has swung between encouraging and repressing drink; between presenting British beer as sociable, patriotic and healthy, for example, and promoting temperance and restricting drinking hours. The exhibition looks at pub culture and includes a colourful (and often amusing) display of nineteenth-century advertisements and brand labels. Further information is available on the National Archives website.
An informal, round-table-panel historical evaluation of the New Archaeology is scheduled for Monday 23 October, from 4pm to 6pm, at the Biffen Lecture Theatre, Downing Street Site, Cambridge. Tea will be served beforehand at the McDonald Institute tea-room, beginning at 3.30pm.
Professor Michael Schiffer is coming from the University of Arizona to participate in the panel, which will discuss his new book, Archaeology as a Process: processualism and its progeny, which is billed as a complete and fair-minded history of what today we term American processual archaeology. Professor Ezra Zubrow, from New York State University, will discuss with Schiffer the academic politics of processualism, emphasising events during the 1960s in the Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton as well as in particular state universities. Zubrow, who was a young graduate student with Longacre and Paul Martin, will also detail his early experiences with the pioneering Southwest Archaeological Expedition.
Our Fellow Professor Lord Renfrew will also participate, recollecting 1960s English events and his memories of the late David Clarke. He will also record how he first heard of the American New Archeology. Our Fellow Professor Graeme Barker will act as Chair and will offer insight into Eric Higgs's work and will evaluate the landscape and catchment approaches which were developing concurrently in Britain during the mid-twentieth century and in which he was personally involved.
Professor Marek Zvelebil, Professor Robin Dennell, Professor Rob Foley and our Fellow Professor Paul Mellars will direct the discussion which will follow the individual panel memory-presentations.
The proceedings will be recorded for an oral-historical archive at the Society of Antiquaries of London and a report will appear in the journal, Antiquity.
For information please contact Pamela Jane Smith.
Our Fellow Norman Hammond of Boston University, USA, will be giving the Albert Reckitt Archaeological Lecture at 5.30pm at the Royal Society in Edinburgh on Tuesday 14 November 2006 and at 5.30pm at the British Academy on Wednesday 15 November 2006 on the theme of Recovering Maya Civilisation. Admission to both is free and is open to all.
Expanding knowledge of the Maya civilisation of Central America has in recent years taken this most brilliant of Pre-Columbian cultures from prehistory into the margins of history, with the reigns of some rulers now documented in surprising detail as the Maya hieroglyphic script has been progressively deciphered. Maya social complexity has been shown also to be earlier in date than hitherto thought, with the beginnings of literacy and royal imagery pushed back towards 500 BC. A millennium and a half later, the noted collapse of Classic Maya civilisation has been the subject of explanations both more detailed and more controversial than before.
With some intriguingly entitled papers (for example, Beowulf in the bath: total immersion at Sutton Hoo, Kilmartin and Dorchester, and What can we do with our ancient Egyptian archaeological collections?), the SMAs annual conference meets in Lincoln, at The Collection (shortlisted for this years Gulbenkian Prize), on 2 to 4 November 2006. Further details from Hedley Swain.
A conference with the tragically ironic name of Noahs Ark is scheduled for 18 and 19 January 2007 at the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage in London. This two-day workshop will present the results of a three-year European Union Sixth Framework Project investigating the impact of global climate change on built heritage and cultural landscapes. The full programme will be announced later in October; meanwhile details of the project can be found on the Noahs Ark website.
The IFA Finds Group is hosting a day dedicated to the identification and recording of post-medieval glass at the London Archaeological Archive and Resource Centre (LAARC) on 16 November 2006 from 10.30am to 4pm. Numbers are restricted to twelve: further information from Nicky Powell, Secretary of the IFA Finds Group.
The Institute for Field Archaeologists is calling for contributions to its 2007 conference, to be held at Reading University on 2 to 4 April. Abstracts of 250 to 500 words should be sent to conference organiser Alex Llewellyn and should address one of the following conference themes.
Plough damage: recent work to improve understanding of plough damage, new approaches to risk assessment and initiatives to mitigate the impacts of cultivation.
The ethics and values of heritage: the impetus for the change of focus to a more inclusive approach to ethics and values, the issues and challenges involved in this approach for the heritage sector, the need for the expression of these values in order to compete for resources, to meet all the needs of all stakeholders and to raise the perceived value of heritage within government.
Great excavations: coincident with the IFAs twenty-fifth anniversary, this session explores the great excavations that inspired us to become archaeologists as well as giving us the social history, folklore and to some degree the mythology of contemporary archaeological practice. What makes a Great Excavation? How important is it that they continue? How can we ensure that they do?
Archaeology and the arts: this session will seek to re-invigorate our appreciation of the benefits to be derived from an archaeological engagement with the arts. Given the inherent diversity of the arts, contributions are expected to range across a multiplicity of positions and consideration of different media.
The setting of cultural heritage features: archaeologists contributing to Environmental Impact Assessments are frequently required to assess impacts on the setting of cultural heritage features, which can be problematic and contentious. How are we to define the setting of a site? And are there any consistent criteria we can use to decide what changes are inappropriate, or do assessments of setting rely more on subjective opinion and professional judgement?
The archaeology of inclusion: current practical and research projects in archaeology that have been exploring inclusion. The papers will describe work done in the areas of ethnic minorities, disenfranchised social groups and the disabled.
Visions of the future: live debates on big issues in the historic environment.
IFA Workplace training: this session will highlight two ground-breaking training schemes currently being run by IFA: Workplace Learning Bursaries and EPPIC Placements. The focus of this session will be presentations by past and present placement holders.
Bells, whistles and machines that go ping! Recent advances in and applications of archaeological science, with the focus firmly on the application of new techniques or methods to mainstream archaeology rather than blue sky research that can rarely be employed in a developer-funded context.
Diggers Forum: an opportunity to raise awareness of issues and topics of direct relevance to those at the grass roots of archaeology.
Regeneration and Reform: this session will explore how the study of buildings can contribute to the future of archaeology and the profession, the impact our work has on the outcomes of planning and development and our contribution to regeneration, showcasing projects that are relevant to local communities or regeneration initiatives.
Three sheets to the wind? National strategies for ship and boat remains, with examples of nautical recording and research to stimulate debate on fundamental questions of what we are recording, why and how.
Pirates, plunder, professionalism? From Iraq to eBay it is possible to see how archaeological objects can be harvested for profit, with little consideration of their worth as holders of information. What can we do, as a profession, to tackle these issues?
The excellent and highly readable Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society Volume XCV for 2006 has recently landed on Salons editorial desk, and this surely qualifies as a book by Fellows given its meatiness and its large number of FSA contributors ─ not to mention the fact that it is edited by the Societys Honorary Treasurer, Alison Taylor (from whom copies can be obtained). This volume reports on a late Roman cemetery near Durobrivae, west of Peterborough, with mid-third- to early fifth-century graves, where one exceptional child burial, reported on by our Fellow Nina Crummy, is packed with jewellery, including eight copper armlets, four rare ivory armlets, an even rarer amber and glass necklace. It says a lot about the cultural diversity of late Roman Durobrivae that the child is buried with a dowry of mainland European and probably pagan origin, but is afforded the status of burial with adults in a cemetery (infants are more often found in their own separate cemeteries or in pits or ditches) in a group of graves aligned east to west, suggestive of Christian influence.
In the same volume, our Fellow Christopher Taylor write about missing houses in Cambridgeshire villages, especially in the vicinity of the church and manor house, and comes up with a number of possible explanations, arguing that multicausal (as distinct from monocausal) explanations are more in line with our experience of the real world, where few features ever stem from a single cause. He ends entertainingly with a pair of juxtaposed quotations: Historians are
forever chasing shadows, painfully aware of their inability to reconstruct a dead world (which he thinks he got from Simon Schama) and this from an article in The Times by Giles Coren: The thing about history [is that] it just gives more pleasure and lasts a lot longer when you use a bit of imagination.
As promised above, here are the details of the new Yale book by our Fellow Mary Beaudry. Called Findings: the material culture of needlework and sewing, it is published by Yale University Press and it reveals what an archaeological approach to sewing and needlework can tell us about female experience in the societies and cultures in which they were used. According to the publisher, Beaudry shows the extent to which such small things as pins, needles, thimbles, scissors and other sewing accessories and tools were deeply entrenched in the construction of gender, personal identity and social class in the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK.
Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece: collected papers on early Greece and related topics is the latest book by our Fellow Anthony Snodgrass who, as the book jacket says, has been a major figure in the study of pre-classical and classical Greece for decades and has published widely on these subjects. Published by Edinburgh University Press, the book presents a collection of twenty-five of his papers, some of which previously appeared as chapters in books, others as articles in journals, or conference and seminar papers. The initial papers illustrate how classical studies, or classical archaeology, has changed over the past forty years, the subjects that are now considered, the approaches taken and methods of research applied. Subsequent papers are arranged thematically into the early Iron Age, the early polis at home and abroad, the early polis at war, early Greek art and archaeological survey.
Cadw, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Wales
Salary £47,767 to £62,298, closing date 27 October 2006
Working with partners across Wales and internationally, this is a key role at the heart of Cadw requiring an experienced professional with the credibility to give confidence to the people Cadw works for. For an informal discussion about the post, contact Marilyn Lewis, Director of Cadw, tel: 01443 336032. For an application pack, see the National Assembly for Wales website, quoting reference G/0004/06.
National Museum of Ireland, Keeper of the Country Life Branch
Salary 66,491 to 82,982, closing date 9 November 2006
A dynamic individual with a background in folklore, ethnography, anthropology, history, history of art, or archaeology, is sought as manager of the Country Life Branch of the National Museum of Ireland, located in Castlebar, County Mayo, which houses the National Folklore Collection. The post involves developing the museum in line with overall national museum policy, curatorial management of the collection, promotion of the collection through events, exhibitions, research and publications, and assisting in the development of the National Museum. Further details from the Public Jobs website.